Wisdom Wednesday: Compassion Toward Animals

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Have you ever noticed that look of love and trust in the eyes of a horse or a dog when its owner approaches?  You’ll usually also see it nuzzle its owner as it tries to get as close as possible to him or her.

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”  —Immanuel Kant

“The kind man feeds his cat before sitting down to dinner.”  —Yiddish proverb

“He who wants to travel far takes care of his beast.”  —French proverb

Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”  The Lord reveals His care of animals by including them in the law regarding a sabbath day’s rest.  (Exodus 20:10)  I couldn’t help but wonder about the second half of Proverbs 12:10 when it says, “… but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”.  How can that be?  How can compassion or tender mercies be cruel?  They are cruel when they are inconsistent and mixed with indifference and callousness, because the animal receiving those tender mercies doesn’t know what to expect.  Instead of love, trust, and nuzzles, you’ll find apprehension and distance.  I’d rather have nuzzles, wouldn’t you?  That doesn’t just go for animals.  The principle can be applied to people, too.  In fact, a friend reminded me that serial killers are generally known for having been cruel to animals first.  Consider people you know who neither like nor respect animals versus those who do.  I have found that people who are kindhearted and considerate of animals are some of the nicest and most enjoyable people I know.

“The man who does not love a horse cannot love a woman.”  —Spanish proverb

If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also.  —Russian Proverb


About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

5 responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: Compassion Toward Animals

  • Randell Bell

    I was a professional horse trainer and Master Farrier for over 20 yrs before retiring, and saw many different styles of training on the farm and on the track and can attest that all styles of training brought results both harsh and soft, but the style I was taught by an 80 yr old Master Farrier was always treat the horse like it was your own child and I can say it not only brought the best results but the most lasting. One day at Farrier College in Oklahoma a big tractor trailer pulled up with rodeo horses from the famous Ben Johnson Rodeo School. These horses were not tamed or broke in any way shape or fashion, three men were put in a stall with each of these beasts and a twitch and rasp for control. The Dean of the college was also a famous person and he said you can use these tools to subdue the horse, but if you do you are gone. Several people left the college that day, but thanks to my old master I was able to calm my horse so the other two could trim its feet. I had my own horse for 37 yrs and gentled him and trained him as if he were my own child and we had a wonderful life together of respect and love. 🙂
    Good one Rene

    • Rene Yoshi

      That both harsh and soft training methods can yield results and yet different outcomes reminds me of both parenting and governing. Some animals and people need a firm hand, while others do better with a tender touch. Knowing, respecting and loving is what truly brings about the best results and the most lasting as you indicated. Thank you so much for weighing in with your expertise. 🙂

  • Katherine

    This is my favorite post! You probably know about the talking donkey in the Bible but if you don’t it is in Numbers 22:28. God loves His animals!

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